Pacers Notes: Haliburton, Game 2, Officiating, Carlisle

Tyrese Haliburton was a non-factor offensively in the Pacers’ tight loss to the Knicks during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday. Haliburton had just six points and committed three turnovers.

The Pacers advanced past the Bucks in the opening round even though their star guard shot 43.5% from the field and 29.6% on 3-point attempts, Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes. Haliburton only attempted six shots and did dish out eight assists in Monday’s four-point defeat.

“He gets trapped every time he comes off and pick and roll. And the best thing about Tyrese is he won’t force a bad shot,” fellow guard T.J. McConnell said. “He gets others involved and we trust him wholeheartedly. With the ball in his hands every single time.”

We have more on the Pacers:

  • Haliburton spoke about his offensive woes after the team’s practice on Tuesday and vowed to be better in Game 2. “I erred on the side of play-making … and that wasn’t the right decision for me,” Haliburton said, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “I still got to be who I am, but yeah, I’ll just be better (Wednesday).” Haliburton is dealing with back spasms and is listed as questionable for Game 2, as he was entering the series. “I’m confident he’ll play, but it’s a concern,” coach Rick Carlisle said.
  • The Pacers had a right to be upset with the officiating in Game 1 but generally chose to take the high road, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star writes. During the final minute, forward Aaron Nesmith deflected a pass with his hand that was called a kicked ball, stopping play dead instead of giving the Pacers a steal that they could have turned into a fast-break bucket. With 12 seconds left and the Pacers down 118-117, Myles Turner was called for an offensive foul for an illegal screen. “I don’t want to talk about the officiating,” Carlisle said. “We’re not expecting to get calls in here.” Turner felt the officials’ controversial calls marred a thrilling contest. “In my experience in this league, I think it’s best when the players decide the outcome of the game,” Turner said. “I think it’s unfortunate that it happened.” The league’s Last Two Minutes report indicated Turner did commit an offensive foul, Ian Begley of SNY TV tweets. Video of the plays can be found here (Twitter links).
  • Carlisle said in the pregame press conference on Monday that the Mavericks tried hard to trade up and snag Haliburton in the 2020 draft, when he slipped to the 12th pick, Dopirak tweets. “We thought he was the best player in the draft that year when we were in Dallas. We were trying desperately to trade up to get him,” Carlisle said. During a 2023 podcast appearance, Dallas’ then-owner, Mark Cuban, confirmed the team’s interest in trading up for Haliburton.
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